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The shooting of eight people at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area last week has become a lightning rod for those who bemoan racism against Asians. Except that the shooting had absolutely nothing to do with racism! The killer, Robert Aaron Long, describes himself as deeply religious but a sex addict. He said his actions were retaliation against establishments that had tempted him. The victims included six women of Korean extraction and two whites, one of the latter a male who was apparently a passer-by. A Latino woman was injured.

Andrew Sullivan describes the adoption of a pseudo-reality by the media based on critical race theory: Asians have struggled against prejudice in the West. The killer was white and most of the victims were Asians. Ergo, white supremacy must lie at the heart of this monstrosity:

Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran ninenine! — separate storiesabout the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an antiAsian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the ‘ real’ motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.”

Make no mistake: there are racists against Asians in this country, as I discuss below, but this was the work of an individual unable to control his sex drive, deeply ashamed of it, and a psychopath to boot. Yet the urge to virtue signal is so strong that people who should know better immediately ascribed racist motives to the killer. Corporate America is only too eager to endorse the pseudo-reality: the CEO’s of Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, and many other corporate leaders issued statements tying the Atlanta shootings to racism against Asians.

The Goldman CEO, David Solomon, posted a statement on LinkedIn (which I’m now unable to locate) that was interesting in several respects: it came shortly after the release of a damaging survey of junior bankers, not a few of whom are Asian, who complained of 100-hour work weeks and frequent verbal abuse by managers. Nevertheless, a number of Goldman employees, including a number of Asians, posted adoring responses to the post. One woman was indignant because she felt the shootings illustrated racism manifest in the stereotyping of Asian women as sex objects. Of course I know of men who seem particularly attracted to Asian women, but can that really be construed as racism? I’m not the least bit convinced.

Equally unconvincing are claims that obvious criticisms of the Chinese government are racist, or that they encourage violence against Chinese americans or people of Chinese extraction. That includes President Trump’s references to the “China virus”, as well as the ridiculous charges against Tom Smith, a law professor at the University of San Diego.

As I noted above, racism against Asians is real, but who harbors it? We know that a number of elite academic institutions are actively discriminating against Asians in their admissions practices, and critical race theorists are only too eager to ascribe the academic and economic success of Asians as “white adjacency”. In this context, they’ve also been willing to exploit Asians as a so-called “model minority” in something of a variation on “Uncle Tom” epithets. As for violent crimes against Asians, Andrew Sullivan provides some statistics at the link above. Asians are victimized by whites, blacks, Latinos, and other Asians, but blacks, who represent about 13% of the U.S. population, account for a disproportionately high 27.5% of violent crimes against Asians. Is that racism or mere criminal opportunism? Of course, the pattern is a legitimate area of inquiry.

I implore my Asian friends to reject the baited narrative that the Atlanta shootings were motivated by white racism. Let’s be honest about calling mental illness what it is, and naming things accurately when we see them. Here are some closing words from Wenyuan Wu, Executive Director of Californians for Equal Rights:

Conflating an attack on Asian Americans with claims of ‘white supremacism’ and systemic racism is dangerous. It seeks to foster a victimhood mentality among all Americans of Asian descent, eroding social solidarity and trust. At a minimum, choking up all present and past injustices to racism, while proselytizing the model minority myth for Asians, is dishonest.